June 25, 1952 (21st Parliament, 6th Session)


Charles Gavan Power


Mr. Power:

If I may be permitted to mention a personal element for a moment in connection with this particular resolution, I may
Members of Parliament-Pensions say that I am probably the only member of the house who has a definite mandate on this question. It came about in this way. During the course of the last general election, the campaign in the constituency of Quebec South was based solely on the fact that the former member seeking re-election had grown old in the service of the state, had become decrepit, had lost influence in the House of Commons and, in fact, had been relegated to the doghouse where even his bark was not of very much interest. My political opponents carried on a campaign on the sole issue, as they put it in French, "met-tez Power a sa pension", or in English "Pension Power off". Every telegraph pole in my constituency was covered with this slogan "Pension Power off".
The result of the election would appear to be that my electors do not approve of pensions for members. By a majority of 13,000 they decided not to "pension Power off". But adhering as I do to the old constitutional principle that a member of parliament is not the delegate of his constituency but is sent here to represent the interests of the whole of Canada, and to use his own judgment and discretion in matters that are placed before the house, I therefore feel that I could, were I so inclined, or convinced, entirely discard the mandate received from the electorate of Quebec South.
In a more serious vein, I should say that in view of the fact, if this legislation passes, that I shall be immediately placed in a beneficial economic position, I feel it would be more appropriate and more proper if I did not cast a vote, should this matter be brought to a vote.

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